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Chapter 33. Conducting a Direct Action Campaign | Section 4. Filing a Complaint | Examples | Community Tool Box complaint letter examples

Home » Table of Contents » Organizing for Effective Advocacy » Chapter 33. Conducting a Direct Action Campaign » Section 4. Filing a Complaint » Examples Chapter 33 ← Table of Contents 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 Section 4. Filing a Complaint Chapter 33 Sections Section 1. Writing Letters to Elected Officials Section 2. Writing Letters to the Editor Section 3. Criticizing Unfavorable Action Section 4. Filing a Complaint Section 5. Seeking Enforcement of Existing Laws or Policies Section 6. Using Personal Testimony Section 7. Lobbying Decisionmakers Section 8. Establishing Lines of Communication with the Opposition's Traditional Allies Section 9. Conducting a Petition Drive Section 10. General Rules for Organizing for Legislative Advocacy Section 11. Developing and Maintaining Ongoing Relationships with Legislators and their Aides Section 12. Registering Voters Section 13. Conducting a Public Hearing Section 14. Organizing Public Demonstrations Section 15. Seeking a Negotiator, Mediator, or Fact-Finder Section 16. Initiating Legal Action Section 17. Organizing a Boycott Section 18. Organizing a Strike Section 19. Using Social Media for Digital Advocacy Section 20. Advocacy Over and For the Long Term Toggle navigation Chapter Sections Section 1. Writing Letters to Elected Officials Section 2. Writing Letters to the Editor Section 3. Criticizing Unfavorable Action Section 4. Filing a Complaint Section 5. Seeking Enforcement of Existing Laws or Policies Section 6. Using Personal Testimony Section 7. Lobbying Decisionmakers Section 8. Establishing Lines of Communication with the Opposition's Traditional Allies Section 9. Conducting a Petition Drive Section 10. General Rules for Organizing for Legislative Advocacy Section 11. Developing and Maintaining Ongoing Relationships with Legislators and their Aides Section 12. Registering Voters Section 13. Conducting a Public Hearing Section 14. Organizing Public Demonstrations Section 15. Seeking a Negotiator, Mediator, or Fact-Finder Section 16. Initiating Legal Action Section 17. Organizing a Boycott Section 18. Organizing a Strike Section 19. Using Social Media for Digital Advocacy Section 20. Advocacy Over and For the Long Term Main Section Checklist Examples PowerPoint

This heading includes longer, more detailed examples of the key concepts discussed in this section. Portions of these are adapted from Patricia Westheimer's How to Write Complaint Letters that Work (1990).

Example #1: General format for writing complaint letters

This example summarizes the rules and format of a standard complaint letter.

Today's Date

Your Name Your Address Your City, State, Zip Code

Mr./Mrs./Ms.______________[or other title] Title Company Name Company Address City, State, Zip Code

Dear Mr./Mrs./Ms.

[Let the recipient know this is a formal letter of complaint] ( Ingredient #1 )

[State the substance of your complaint as clearly and concisely as possible. Why are you complaining? Avoid being emotional. Just stick to the pertinent facts.] ( Ingredient #2 )

[Show why the reasons justify your complaint. What loss did you suffer? What harm was done? Give amounts, dates, and any other relevant information. Use a positive tone if possible. Angry, rude letters get negative, defensive reactions.] ( Ingredient #3 )

[State the action you expect the target to take. If you believe the target owes you something, say so. Be very clear and unambiguous at this point.] ( Ingredient #4 )

[Request a written reply, by a specific date. Close in a friendly, positive, manner. Assure the reader that you believe he/she will help you. Keep your letter to one page, unless it is absolutely necessary to make it longer.] (Ingredient #5)

 

Sincerely,

 

Your Name (signature above)

Enclosures (such as copies of previous correspondence, receipts, etc.)

cc: (If you are mailing copies to third parties, state to whom they were sent

 

Example #2: Sample of a well-written letter of complaint

This is an example of a well-written, successful complaint letter to a business. George Jones, had trouble with an auto body repair shop. The work was sub-standard. The shop manager would not correct the problem. George called the local Chamber of Commerce and got the name of the owner of the shop. He then wrote the following letter:

George Jones 1234 Belleview Dr. Kansas City, KS 59999

November 17, 1999

John Burns Smitty's Auto Body 1098 3rd Street Kansas City, KS

Dear Mr. Burns:

I am writing to you to complain about the lack of service I received from your shop on November 10. (Ingredient #1)

I am not at all satisfied with the work your shop has done on my 1989 GMC truck. The paint job is uneven, and the running boards are still dented noticeably. I paid you in full to have these items corrected. (Ingredient #2)

Your shop manager, Frank Wilson, has not been at all helpful in this regard. He refused to consider finishing the job he started, and he refused to give me your name. Is this the way you want to do business? (Ingredient #3)

I would like you to either redo the work, or else refund my $765.58 so I can go to another shop. (Ingredient #4)

Mr. Burns, your shop's advertising guarantees 100% satisfaction. I am sure you will be willing to live up to your claims. I look forward to hearing from you within the next two weeks. (Ingredient #5)

 

Sincerely,

 

George Jones

Enclosures:

Copy of receipt for work done on November 10th, 1992

Copy of original service agreement, November 5, 1992

cc:

Kansas City Chamber of Commerce

bbjpuvla. moncler outlet italya

National Association of Auto Body Repair Shops

Whitley, Jones & Moore

George's letter is specific, reasonable and well written. He stated what the problem was, and exactly what he wanted from the body shop. The inclusion of the "cc" and a number of relevant third parties may have provoked some prompt attention, too. Two weeks later, George received a check for $765.58 in the mail, along with a written apology from Mr. Burns.

 

Example #3: Sample of a poorly-written letter of complaint

This is an example of a poorly written complaint letter, with analysis, followed by an example of a properly written letter.

Karen Young, the newly appointed and somewhat inexperienced head of a community coalition in Cooper County, learned of the county health clinic's plans to reduce the number of services offered, and its plans to increase fees for other basic services. Upset, she decided to write on behalf of the coalition to let the clinic know the coalition's opinion.

August 20, 1995

Cooper County Health Department 12 Main Street Waynesville, MO 60999

Dear Sir:

I am writing to you on behalf of the concerned citizens of the Cooper County Coalition for Health Care. Once again you are cutting the services offered by your clinic. And you plan on increasing the fees on the few services you are keeping.

This is ridiculous. Where are we supposed to go for our health care? The closest hospital is over 70 miles away! My husband just had surgery and we're $10,000 in debt. We can't afford to pay your fee increases.

Don't expect to keep your job much longer, my cousin knows the county commissioner's brother's dentist, and when he hears what you've been doing to us, he'll fire you for sure.

 

Sincerely,

 

Karen Young, Director Cooper County Coalition for Health Care

 

This letter lacks the "five ingredients" of a complaint letter, and is therefore, ineffective. It is just asking for an unsatisfactory response, and that's what it got. The Health Department Director (also in charge of the clinic), Shelly Marks, had her secretary write a weak apology for the policy changes, and suggested Ms. Young get in contact with her government representatives.

Karen made several mistakes in her letter:

She did not personalize the letter. "Dear Sir" could have been addressed to anyone--let alone the fact that the director of the Cooper County Health Department was a woman. Shelly, the director, was not at the top level of decision making when it came to deciding the clinic's budget. She had little influence on how much funding it actually received. That decision came from higher up in the government. Karen was not specific about what changes she wanted made, if any. It almost appears that all she wanted to do was complain about her personal problems. Life's rough. She makes part of the letter a personal attack, implying that the Health Department director cannot do her job, and will soon be fired.

Here's how Karen should have written the letter. First of all, she should have obtained the name, title and address of the key decision maker on this particular issue. Let's suppose it was the local representative to the state legislature. Then she could have written the following: (A copy would also be sent to Shelly Marks.)

August 20, 1995

David Brenner Representative, 23rd District Missouri State Legislature Jefferson City, MO 01675

Honorable Representative David Brenner,

This letter is a formal complaint about the proposed cuts in the budget of the Cooper County Health Clinic. These cuts are totally unacceptable to all 150 members of our coalition, as determined by a recent vote. (See membership list attached.) (Ingredient #1)

Ninety-five percent of the residents of Cooper County use the Cooper County Health Department clinic for their general health care. The proposed cuts will force many of these people to drive over 70 miles to receive necessary care. (Ingredient #2) The proposed fee increases will also put the cost of health care beyond the reach of many of our community members. (Ingredient #3)

We understand that in this day and age budget cuts are sometimes necessary. However, cutting the budget of our health clinic will have serious negative health impact for many of your constituents. We strongly urge you to restore the budget to its original level. (Ingredient #4)

We look forward to your prompt favorable action on this matter, and to your response before this matter is put to a vote. (Ingredient #5)

Sincerely,

 

Karen Young Director, Cooper County Coalition for Health Care

 

This letter makes the same general point, but is directed to the key decision-maker, is more professional, and is slightly less aggressive. Karen is specific about what the problem is, and what she and the coalition want done. The letter is written by someone who seems to be reasonable. She doesn't threaten anyone, although the threat of not being re-elected hangs in the air. Hopefully, Rep. Brenner will be able to make the necessary changes.


complaint letter examples

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moncler man What is an example of a formal complaint letter? A: Quick Answer

A formal complaint letter is composed of an introduction, main body and close. The tone of the complaint letter is clear and concise. The letter includes all information related to the specific complaint, including dates, account number, product or service facts and a detailed explanation of the problem.

Continue Reading Keep Learning How do I send a formal complaint to General Motors? What should you put in a complaint letter when you are unsatisfied? How do you file a complaint against a judge? Full Answer

The following example contains all the critical elements of a formal complaint letter.

"Dear Name of Contact Person,

I am writing this letter to inform you about a recent incident that happened in your store. I dropped off my dry cleaning on April 17, and the clerk on duty promised to have my suits ready for pick up on April 20. I was given a ticket that indicated April 20 as the pick up date.

On April 20, I arrived at your store to pick up my suits. At that time, I was told that my suits were not ready. I showed the clerk my ticket, and the clerk acknowledged the April 20 date but told me that my suits would not be ready until the next day. Unfortunately, I needed the suits right away for a business trip.

Due to this error, I had to purchase a new suit. I am requesting a full refund for all cleaning costs related to this suit order. I have enclosed a copy of the dry cleaning ticket for your reference.

Sincerely,

Name"

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9+ Letter of Complaint Samples

When you purchase a particular product from a company, it may turn up to be defective, or not live up to the expectations. In these cases, you need to write a Letter of Complaint to the company, detailing them with your concerns and seeking remedy for the same. These letters can have a particular pattern. When expertly written, they can yield you the benefits seamlessly. Check out these Sample Letters to clarify your views.

Business Complaint Letter Sample sse.gov.on.ca Details File Format PDF

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These letters have three main parts. The first one includes the location, date, and when the purchase was made. The second part includes the description of the problem. The last part specifies what you want from the company.

Sample Complaint Letter for Poor Service ag.nd.gov Details File Format PDF

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These letters are primarily associated with machinery or goods that provide long-term benefits. The problem is specified along with the reference to warranty, if any. The copies of invoices or warranty may be attached with the letter. You can also see the  Informal Letter Samples .

Response Letter to a Complaint Against an Employee calhr.ca.gov Details File Format PDF

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When you face problems with the behavior or conduct of an employee of an organization, you need to write these letters. These are descriptive in nature, and you need to be precise about the facts.

Why Do You need to Write these Letters?

All the customers want to get the best value for their money. It is necessary to inform the company about the problems you are facing and check out if it works. In most of the cases, the letters are result-oriented, and if there is any fault on the part of the company, the products are exchanged or repaired.

The primary purpose of the Sample Complaint Letter is to legitimate your claim that you are not satisfied with the quality. Later, if the letter does not work out, you need to take legal steps and in these situations, the reference of the letters come beneficial. Apart from that, these letters help to resolve a problem through peaceful discussions.

Sample Complaint Letter to Hospital Management southtees.nhs.uk Details File Format PDF

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The number of ward and name of the patient are included in the reference of the letter. You need to mention the date and time of the incident, followed by a detailed description here. Conclude the letter by placing your demands.

Formal Complaint Letter Example in PDF legalombudsman.org.uk Details File Format PDF

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Complaint Letter Format are written against different service-oriented companies like medical organizations, law firms and so on. Mention the name of the person you are concerned with, the duration you have been seeking the service from the persona and other necessary details in the letter.

Basic Complaint Letter to Manager gov.mb.ca Details File Format PDF

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Download How to Make Complaint Letter Effective?

There are certain occasions when repeated Complaint Letter Samples fail to yield the desired goals. So, you need to follow the following guidelines while crafting the letters. You need not write a sarcastic, threatening letter with a dire consequence at the outset. Be polite and objective with the tone. But make sure that the company understands why you are not satisfied with the product.

Mention the problems you are facing with clarity. You can include copies of invoice and other relevant documents to empower your claim. Include your contact information so that you are easily reachable. These tips in the Sample Complaint Letters will surely help you out.

Flight Complaint Letter Format findlegalforms.com Details File Format PDF

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Download Free Sample Complaint of Discrimination Letter aate.org.au Details File Format PDF

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Download Service Complaint Letter Sample in Word Details File Format DOCX

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Customers prefer to write the letters in a sophisticated tone so that they can maintain their status. It is not preferable to move into a war of words with the company. You can browse the website for samples of Formal Letters of complaints and Personal Apology Letters. These documents are included here with all possible variations and formats.

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